Tuesday, August 25, 2015

ModLodge Proj: Removing A Half Spindle

As I've made perfectly clear, the ModLodge "wallpaper project," which became the "baseboard removing, wall priming, window frame refinishing, FINE we'll just paint project" was full of distractions. One that I've yet to share with you is a self contained little enterprise that took place within this same timeframe: removing the half spindle from the wall that divides the ModLodge and the ugly kitchen.

To be honest with you, I don't have a problem with spindles. I actually have a thing for decades-old interior design relics. Sometimes I think it would be easier to lean in to the outdatedness of our house and just try to look like the Hamilton house in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Or, you know what I've always really liked? The house from E.T.
Come on. I cannot be the only person that thinks this is amazing.
dat macrame hanging planter doe
And then there's the side of me that spends lunch breaks on Pinterest and watches marathons of Fixer Upper and remembers I live in a "Before" house.

So why am I bringing all of this up? Well, for one thing, I think in tangents these days. But mostly because this conflict of aesthetics is a recurring theme in many of my projects, ongoing and forthcoming, and now that I've gotten the deeper explanation out of the way I can always refer to it with a quick mention.

Back to the spindle. As part of the wallpaper prep I was sanding a particularly pesky paint glob on the wall, right next to the spindle. Being up close, I saw that there was just the thinnest gap where it met the wall.

Up until that point I swear it had never even crossed my mind to remove the spindle. And yet all of a sudden...
I put down the sandpaper and picked up my new 14-In-One Painter's Tool.

Nowhere on the packaging does it identify the 14 uses. So far I've found that it opens paint cans (1), scrapes dried paint splatters off the floor (2), scrapes old paint off the wall (3), hammers paint can lids back on sort of (4), and ushers you into unnecessary side projects by prying perfectly harmless spindles away from the wall (5).

Once I'd widened the space a little more, I was able to wedge in my new pry bar and cross the point of no return.

It separated from the wall rather easily with a series of satisfying cracking sounds. But then I met resistance. After clearing a half inch space I realized there was a problem with my plan: I hadn't given any thought to it whatsoever.

I started inspecting the area to figure out where the spindle was adhered. I opened the cabinets underneath, thinking perhaps it was screwed in that way (because in my mind everything is built like Ikea furniture).

No dice.

Then I noticed the tiniest little nail driven into the base, and down at an angle. Ah ha!

There was no wiggle room to try to pry up from the bottom of the spindle, or down from the top. This sucker was going to need to get sawed in half and removed in sections.

Time to call in the muscle.

With the spindle split in two, it popped right off of the nails and we were in the clear!

...and we'd also sliced into the wall. Eh.

Knowing there'd be some more work to do to clean this up, I turned my attention back to my original baseboard removing, wall priming, window frame refinishing, FINE we'll just paint project.

For 6 weeks after that, nothing happened.

Then one day in late April, I patched up the holes and grabbed the can of leftover White Clay paint from the garage.

Unfortunately, there was this noticeable seam where several layers of paint had built up alongside the totally bare wall that was under the spindle. I used my painters tool to scrape away the old paint and level it out.

Then I slapped on a few coats of fresh paint and called it a day.

There are still noticeable squares in the bar and ceiling beam that show evidence of the spindle's existence. I've got a solution in mind for those, but it'll have to wait until I'm in the middle of another unrelated project.



  1. It would have had to come out at some point or another so it may as well be a satisfying distraction from a rotten project!

  2. looks great and I appreciate the view into a half spindle, did not know that existed!

  3. Looks great! Love the before and after pictures. And this was a fun read.